Meet the Tastemakers
5 Austin neighborhood restaurants that serve up the spirit of the city
Now, maybe more than ever, your neighborhood is an integral part of life. It's where you spend long days working from home, where you clear your head with an afternoon walk, and where you turn to support local businesses.
Our 2020 Tastemaker nominees for Neighborhood Restaurant of the Year are integral parts of the neighborhoods they serve, and all are still cooking, despite facing unprecedented challenges due to COVID-19.
Get reacquainted with them — and what we love about them — below. Then, tune in on July 23 at 7 pm as we reveal the winner during our first-ever Tastemaker Awards — Virtual Edition. It's our way of celebrating the extraordinary spirit of the Austin restaurant and bar scene during this challenging time. Tickets to the virtual event are on sale now and include a Tasting Tote featuring bites, sips, and more to enjoy at home.
A longtime darling of the South Congress strip, Enoteca is the more casual alternative to sister restaurant Vespaio. Stroll down SoCo, grab a seat on the quaint patio, and settle in for a leisurely dinner of Italian classics like charcuterie, handmade pasta, wood-fired pizza, and in-house desserts.
Currently: Enoteca is open for dine-in service and curbside pickup.
Foreign & Domestic
Nestled in the heart of North Loop, Foreign & Domestic has been a staple of the laid-back neighborhood since it originally opened in 2010. In 2017, Nathan Lemley and Sarah Heard bought the restaurant, reviving the interior and spirit, but holding onto F&D's signature nose-to-tail ethos and mainstays like the savory gruyere and black pepper popovers.
Currently: Foreign & Domestic is open for dine-in dinner service Tuesday through Saturday, as well as Sunday brunch. Pickup and delivery are also available.
Launderette is more than a go-to spot for pastry chef Laura Sawicki's famed birthday cake ice cream sandwich, but no one would blame you for ordering just that. The Holly neighborhood staple is equally suited for a casual, shareable weeknight meal with a friend or a celebratory gathering with out-of-town guests.
Currently: Launderette is open for dine-in and to-go service for dinner and weekend brunch. The restaurant also has an al fresco "Social Distancing Lounge" that can be reserved for a two-hour window for four to six guests.
This little food truck off Manor Road has been putting out some of the city's most satisfying Italian fare — centered around handmade pasta that's pulled to order — for years. It's also well-suited for the current climate, with affordable food that's easy to grab and take home or enjoy al fresco on the patio.
Currently: Patrizi's is offering online ordering, including a $45 dinner for two option, and the patio is open with limited seating.
Situated in an unassuming Parmer Lane strip mall, Tomodachi rivals the city's most celebrated sushi restaurants. Husband-and-wife team Steve Riad and Tina Son are committed to serving the freshest fish for sushi fans alongside comforting and accessible hot dishes.
Currently: Tomodachi's dining room is open for lunch and dinner service; all patrons are required to wear masks when not seated at their table. Pickup and delivery are also available.